Friday, May 12, 2006

NEC's Companion Robot Gets A Virtual Interface

PCMag provides this link. So why this upgrade for 2001 technology? Perhaps it's the need for a standard robot platform for researchers - a gap left by the Sony AIBO...

PaPeRo R100, a one-foot-tall personal companion robot developed by NEC's Personal Robot Research Center, looks pretty much the same as he did when he made his debut at the RoboFesta Kanagawa in 2001.

The pint-sized, 5 kilogram robot recognizes and can speak hundreds of words, can remember faces (up to 10 people), responds to hand gestures and can move about and even dance on its two roller feet. PaPeRo comes with different personalities and capabilities. There's a comedian PaPeRo, a lazy PaPeRo and even a silver, child-care model.

Now there's a virtual PaPeRo, as well.

Users can now interact with the PaPeRo avatar—dubbed "PaPeRo CG"—on their PC and PDA. The computer-generated PaPeRo will interact in the exact same way as the real world version. In fact, anything a user does with the avatar robot on the PC can then be downloaded to the real robot. Then, if the user extends its "conversation" with the real PaPeRo, the conversation can be uploaded to the virtual version, as well.

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